In the past, catering for state visits, formal dinners, cocktails, and other events hosted by the Office of the President was often outsourced. As such, the in-house catering staff at the Office of the President, while quite competent, often did not gain the knowledge and experience critical to the full performance of their duties and functions.

As part of Her Excellency’s ongoing thrust to afford all levels of staff the training and education they need to perform at their optimum capacity, a highly qualified and experienced professional sommelier was engaged recently to impart his specialist knowledge on wines and wine service to senior catering staff. Brendon Charles, Founder and Wine Director of BC Hospitality Limited, was named 2017 Sommelier of the Year, Middle East Region by Caterer Middle East Magazine. He was also featured in Wine Spectator Magazine in 2017 for achieving an Award of Excellence for Okku Dubai and 2018 for again achieving an Award of Excellence this time for Pierchic Dubai.

The course, designed and conducted by Master Sommelier Brendon Charles, was a comprehensive one, encompassing the history of wine, the wine making process, the different grape varietals, food and wine pairing and wine service etiquette.

Four senior members of the catering staff at the Office of the President underwent this specialist training: Comptroller of Household, Lieutenant Commander Moore; Head Butler, Petty Officer Monsegue; Head Chef and Leading Cook Wharton and Leading Cook Bacchus. Upon completion of the course, each was presented with a Certificate of Participation in Wine Masterclass Levels I, II and III from BC Hospitality Limited. The Office of the President expects to reap the benefits of this specialist training as it will now be able to use in-house staff at most if not all its functions.